Briarwood wins area title after tiebreaker win over McAdory

Published 7:55 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

After the Briarwood Christian Lions and McAdory Yellow Jackets ended their four area games even in the standings, they met up on the diamond once more to decide who would walk away as champions.

Briarwood raced ahead to a commanding lead to take the 20-5 victory in five innings on Friday, April 12 to clinch the area championship.

The Lions then followed it up with a win over the Parker Thundering Herd on Saturday, April 13 to gain even more momentum heading into their first-round playoff matchup on April 19.

After Houston Hartsfield walked to start the first inning, Jake Souders brought him home from third with a one-out RBI single to open up a 1-0 lead.

McAdory filled up the base paths shortly after with a walk and a dropped third strike to bring up Seth Staggs. Staggs hit into a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 2-0.

That lead quickly doubled after a wild pitch advanced both runners to scoring position and Parker Daniels drove both of them home off an RBI double.

After ending the top half of the inning with a 4-0 lead, Souders struck out the side to close out the first.

The Lions nearly started the top of the second with back-to-back strikeouts, but a dropped third strike on the second one put Hartsfield on base.

Hartsfield then stole second to set up Jackson Barnes to hit an RBI single and extend the lead to five.

A Souders single put runners on first and second, and then a passed ball followed by a wild pitch scored Barnes and put Souders on third. Souders scored two batters later to make the lead 7-0.

The Lions got a chance to add even more runs to that in the top of the third when a hit batsman and back-to-back walks loaded up the bases.

While the next batter struck out, Will Clark launched a grand slam to center field to increase the lead to 11-0.

The bases then filled up again off a Brooks Robertson single, Staggs walk and Daniels single, but after the next batter struck out, Parker Sfakianos restarted the scoring with a two-run single.

That started a big stretch for Briarwood with two outs as a walk on the ensuing at-bat loaded up the bases once again.

The Lions scored on the next four plays with a Barnes RBI single, Souders walk and Clark two-run double followed by a pair of runs scored off an error during Brooks Robertson’s at-bat.

That gave Briarwood a commanding 19-0 lead to take into the bottom of the third.

McAdory had a productive bottom half of the inning, scoring off an error, three-run double and a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 19-5.

However, that was all the Yellow Jackets could muster at the plate, and JD Splawn finished off the 20-5 win with a pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the fifth.

Souders took the win with five strikeouts in three innings against three hits, two unearned runs and five total runs without allowing a walk.

Clark finished the day 3-for-3 with two walks, six RBI and three runs, including his grand slam.

Barnes, Souders and Daniels all finished 2-for-4 with Barnes walking twice and scoring three runs and two RBI, Souders walking once and scoring three runs and two RBI and Daniels walking once, batting in two runs and scoring one himself.

Briarwood used that win to race ahead to a 4-0 first-inning lead against Parker the next day and never looked back.

A Clark single, Robertson two-run triple and a Staggs RBI ground out gave the Lions the four-run first inning lead.

The Thundering Herd got a pair of runs back off an RBI double in the bottom of the second, but that was as close as they could get.

An error in the third inning and sacrifice fly in the fourth restored Briarwood’s four-run lead and set up a big top of the fifth.

After loading up the bases on the first three batters, a bases-loaded walk, sacrifice fly and Hartsfield RBI single on the next three at-bats made the score 9-2.

Barnes then loaded up the bases once again off an RBI single, and the next three at-bats saw a run score off an error, Clark hit a two-run double and two more runs score off an error off Robertson’s ground ball, putting the Lions up 14-2.

While Parker scored off a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth, Robertson struck out the final two batters he faced to secure the run-rule win.

Clark followed up his big day on Friday with a 3-for-4 game with three runs and three RBI. Robertson had four RBI, two runs and a walk in a 2-for-3 day at the plate.

Barnes took the win with four strikeouts in four innings against two runs, three hits and two walks. Robertson came in for a hitless inning of relief and got four strikeouts against a run and two walks.

With the regular season now over, 14-10 Briarwood will host its first-round playoff matchup against Benjamin Russell on Friday, April 19 with games one and two at 4:30 and 7 p.m. respectively. Game three will be on Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. if necessary.